“To untie an opposition’s power in negotiations, neutralize their pending moves. That will begin the unraveling of their strategy and power.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert
“Leader – How To Better Use Opposition’s Power
The Art of Strategic Negotiation”
In the art of strategic negotiation, addressing the opposition’s power and knowing how to use it to your advantage is critical to having a successful outcome, especially if the opposition’s power is more substantial than yours. That is why knowing how to identify the opposition’s capabilities is essential. It gives you insights into increasing your power while placing you in a better position to negotiate.
In the following information, I demonstrate how you can gain an advantage in a negotiation by robbing the opposition of their power. I do so by highlighting tactics and strategies you can use when dealing with entities with more power than yours.
How To Weaken The Opposition’s Power
When you seek to weaken the opposition’s power, consider the components of doing so. To assist your efforts, study the following tactics.
The first step to weakening an opponent’s power is understanding who they are and what makes up their value system. Whether negotiating with a company or a single individual, to negotiate more effectively, understand the entity’s culture and mindset in which you are negotiating.
People and larger entities deal with power differently. Thus, to understand how to use an opposition’s power to your advantage, you must know the source of their motivation. That knowledge will allow you to position yourself better and quietly dilute their power later.
Highlighting Strengths And Weaknesses
One way to use an opponent’s power against them is to highlight your strengths. Remember, they are negotiating with you because there is some value for them to do so.
Exploit their perceived value of you. To do that, you must understand your value proposition as they see it. Once you are aware of that, you will know how to increase that perception, and as your perceived value rises, theirs will decrease. In this case, you will use perception’s power to your advantage.
While elevating your persona, lower the opposition’s perceived power by downplaying their positional strengths. Do that by perfecting the nonchalant facade – signaling that their perceived power does not impress you. The better you create that perception, the greater will be your opportunity to create doubt and uncertainty in their minds about the power they possess.
Create Allies And Chaos
Before the opposition’s power becomes overwhelming, create a diversion. Having allies on the opposition’s team will help you better execute this strategy; they can tell you where divisions lie within the opposition’s team and plans.
Once you possess insights into the degree of your opposition’s strengths and divisions, infuse chaos into their negotiation process. Strive to maximize your efforts by having the opposition thinking and looking in different directions simultaneously. Invoking chaos in their ranks will create division and weaken their power.
Change The Tempo Of Negotiation
In sports, one team will attempt to change the game’s momentum at critical moments by strategically calling time-outs. They are seeking to alter the game’s tempo by doing so.
You can change the tempo of the opposition during negotiations by slowing or increasing your response to requests, concessions, etc. That may cause the opposition to become irritable and throw them off their game. Just be sure that you use this tactic sparingly and strategically. You do not want to signal its use, allow the opposition to see it coming, and have time to prepare for it.
When people feel powerful, they become more confident about themselves and their abilities. When the opposition possesses that mindset, be coy; act subserviently to their power. That will most likely allow them to lower their guard; some will empathize with the position they feel you are in.
You are luring them into a false sense of security. After you have them in that position, you have already begun to turn the tables. They are unaware that you have done so, and therein lies how the first slip in their power position occurs.
In the development of every negotiation strategy, there are flaws. In some situations, the opposition will become rushed when developing their plans. At other times, their overconfidence or arrogance will be the source of their plan’s downfall. But you will not benefit from that unless you uncover those flaws.
Thus, you should diligently examine the opposition’s plan and discover its weaknesses. Doing that will give you the advantage of using the opposition’s power against them.
The art of negotiation is a dynamic process entailing the opposition’s power. Dealing with that requires being acutely aware of and understanding the delicate nuances of negotiation interactions.
To negotiate better, never fear an opposition’s power simply because you perceive them to be powerful. Instead, implement the insights I have outlined to diminish their power. That will improve your thought process and erode your fear of being less powerful than the opposition. And everything will be right with the world.
Remember, you’re always negotiating!
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